Best streaming device?

Saturn_V

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new firetv just around the corner as well. I really enjoy my firetv. But new apple 4k tv does look nice.But I'm holding out for new firetv.
The new FireTV is a combo Echo/FireTV device. It's an ugly little cube.


I'm still on a first gen Fire TV box and 1080p display, I have no reason to upgrade. But that cube gives me less reasons.

My Fire TV box and stick work great, except with Netfilx. Every time I try to watch, the video hangs at 25% to 83% while the audio plays without delay. Pretty frustrating. I might try the 4K AppleTV.
I would investigate connection/ISP/WiFi issues. Fire TVs are the most reliable Netflix devices I have (also own Rokus and TiVos) and I don't see the issues you have.
 

Zepher

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Ya, that is an ugly cube. I have the original Firestick, bought it since it was $20 for Prime members for the pre-order, I used it for a few days after I got it and that was it. It's just hanging in the back of the TV, lol.

How easy is it to remove my account from it if I want to sell it or give it away? It came pre-activated with my account info already on it.
 

farscapesg1

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I'm actually intrigued by the new FireTV+Echo device. After our move I'll probably be looking at replacing/upgrading a least two of our Roku devices (old 2XS and a Roku3 with a broken remote) and I'm on the fence of sticking with Roku or moving to a FireTV. We really only use Plex, Netflix, Amazon, and Pandora which are all supported on both platforms if I remember correctly. I'm a "function over form" guy and have been wanting to dip my toes into the Alexa world but didn't want a separate device, so combining both into one unit looks good to me.
 

Edgar

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I'm actually intrigued by the new FireTV+Echo device. After our move I'll probably be looking at replacing/upgrading a least two of our Roku devices (old 2XS and a Roku3 with a broken remote) and I'm on the fence of sticking with Roku or moving to a FireTV. We really only use Plex, Netflix, Amazon, and Pandora which are all supported on both platforms if I remember correctly. I'm a "function over form" guy and have been wanting to dip my toes into the Alexa world but didn't want a separate device, so combining both into one unit looks good to me.
Saturn_V while I agree it does look ugly. I'm also a "function over form" guy so I don't care as much as long as its faster and offers something worth while. I have echos and echo dots around the house.
 

Commander Shepard

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I would investigate connection/ISP/WiFi issues. Fire TVs are the most reliable Netflix devices I have (also own Rokus and TiVos) and I don't see the issues you have.
Done so, several times. Same problem on ethernet or wifi. I should have clarified that the problem only is with my Fire TV box. The stick plays Netflix without issue.
 

Edgar

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Done so, several times. Same problem on ethernet or wifi. I should have clarified that the problem only is with my Fire TV box. The stick plays Netflix without issue.
You've restored the device to default? Like basically reset it to original factory defaults? Deleted and redownloaded netflix app? If yes to all those, I think its the device itself.
 

Saturn_V

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Saturn_V while I agree it does look ugly. I'm also a "function over form" guy so I don't care as much as long as its faster and offers something worth while. I have echos and echo dots around the house.
You can tie your Echos/Dots to control FireTVs right now.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=202174250&tag=vglnk-c830-20
I can say "Alexa, watch Rick and Morty" and voila, it plays the most recent Rick and Morty. And I think that having a Dot close to you instead of a FireTV cube being 10ft away is going to be a better user experience.
 

Commander Shepard

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Sorry bud, think you just got a bad device is all. All my firetv's work fine with netflix. Including streaming 4k content. I own first gen firetv and second gen. And first gen firetvstick. No issues on any of them.
No point in buying another with the new version due out soon. I'd prefer to stick with Fire TV over going with Apple TV since I watch so much Amazon Prime. I think the cube is kinda cool.
 

dergreg

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I absolutely love the Shield TV. I've got a pair of them. They're peppy, pretty, and if you run Plex they'll show Plex as an available source when you search for stuff. Plus it will pass Dolby Atmos/DTS:X audio if you've got an immersive surround setup.
 

Commander Shepard

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I absolutely love the Shield TV. I've got a pair of them. They're peppy, pretty, and if you run Plex they'll show Plex as an available source when you search for stuff. Plus it will pass Dolby Atmos/DTS:X audio if you've got an immersive surround setup.
I forgot about the Shield. It does 4K HDR and gets Amazon, too. (y)
 

dvsman

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I've got 2 fire TV boxes, 1 for the bedroom and 1 for the living room. Both work great. They both replaced (fat) PS3s for running Playstation Vue on my TVs. I still keep the PSs for playing Blurays but those suckers heat up like a PC if left running vs the FireTV box which is both fanless / quiet running and low on radiant heat emissions.

I also bought 2 Echo Dots (again one for each room) but other than automating my lighting and ordering something through Amazon, the Dots didn't really work as well as the Google Home boxes for random questions etc. I think I'm going to be taking down one or both of the Echo Dots and just leaving the Google Homes in my setups although I may try controlling the Fire TVs with the Dots first to see if that makes them worth keeping around.
 

crazycuz20

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OK, having owned the following and my thoughts on each:
- FireTV 4K (+) 4K, fast, Alexa integration, Netflix HDR, Amazon HDR (-) No Vudu, SlingTV, no live TV for Plex, no lossless audio format (DTSMA/DolbyTrueHD)
- FireTV stick (+) it's small (-) everything else
- Roku 4K (+) 4K (-) hate the interface
- Roku stick (+) it's small (-) everything else
- Apple TV 4G (+) integrates in Apple echosystem, InstaTV, Plex, Vudu (-) No 4K, no lossless
- Apple TV 4K (+) integrates in Apple echosystem, InstaTV, Plex, Vudu, FAST, HDR and Dolby Vision (-) HDR on everything, causing white out, no lossless audio(coming)
- Steam Link (+) streams games great if hardwired (-) rather play games at the desk
- Oppo 103D (+) best NAS streamer, MKV's lossless audio, uncompressed (-) ugly interface, no 4K streaming apps
- Oppo 203 (+) streams H265, MKV's lossless audio, uncompressed (-) ugly interface, no streaming apps at all
- and several HTPC's (+) most versatile (-) big, hot, sucks electricity

What do I use now:
- 70% Apple TV 4K: It's expensive but it is incredibly fast, easy to use, and now with 4K HDR apps
- 20% Oppo 203: MKV's from my NAS when I want lossless audio and to shake the house with the 15" sub, otherwise Plex on Apple TV
- 10% FireTV 4K: Use only for Amazon Prime: until the app comes to Apple TV, then I probably won't use anymore\
* Converted my HTPC into my NAS (Freenas)
 

Vengance_01

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I now use a Shield TV box for my new OLED and a Fire Stick with the smaller TV in my bedroom.
IMO if you have a need for HD audio, Shield TV is the way to go. By far the most flexible and best performance. After that each platform has pro's and cons... I like Firestick's personally. They have been the most reliable for the Direct TV Now Streaming platform.
 

Lunar

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I have a Shield TV in the living room, and a FireTV (1st Gen) in the bedroom. Both are great, but I love the Shield. It is by far the fastest STB I've used so far, and it supports everything I need now that it supports Amazon Video. The FireTV is good with one exception. I use the NextPVR Kodi addon to watch TV shows recorded on my TV Server running NextPVR for OTA broadcast, and while Kodi is available in the Google Play Store, it is not available in the Amazon App Store. I also think that the FireTV interface, while functional, leaves a lot to be desired in terms of design. It's just clunky. Also, their search isn't anywhere near as good as Google Assistant on the Shield or even Universal Search on Roku. Amazon definitely pushes their own platform and services more than their competitors, with the exception of Apple of course.
 

ThreeDee

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I used a Roku stick and powered it off of my older tv's usb port without issue .. I've had/have the Roku 1, Stick and Roku 4 .. all have worked great ..though towards the end after 3-4 years of service, on the Roku 1 I kept having to reinstall the Netflix app every couple weeks or so .. Roku + Plex = "Yeah Buddy!"
 

Commander Shepard

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Switched to DirecTV Now, so switched to Roku Ultra. Shield doesn't support DTV and won't for the foreseeable future. (n)
 

jevans64

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I've stuck with Roku mainly because of the easy-to-use UI and I have gotten a $50 discount on upgrades from previous streamers... Roku 3 to Roku 4 to Roku Ultra. I mainly just use mine to stream NetFlix, Amazon Prime, and a handful of channels, like Comet and Pluto, that I don't get through my normal service.
 
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Firestick user here... Can't beat it for 40$ imo but that depends on your needs.

I use kodi a lot so my options were a shield or Fire TV.
Also if you have a nvidia gpu the remote play feature of the sheild my be an added benefit.
 

Edgar

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I will continue to stand by my fire tv's. The best streamer ever. Use kodi for the most part on all of them. The fire tv 2 is better/faster than fire tv 3. But the 3 has the benefit of HDR and 4k 60fps. Firetv 2 is only 4k 30fps and no HDR. But I know they are working on a true successor to the firetv 2 that will be their flagship model.
 

Farkle

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Roku is pretty great aside from Netflix requiring DD+ for surround sound. I actually wish I would have went with Roku Premier+ or Ultra in the living room rather than a stick, as they supposedly decode DD+ and have more connectivity. The two workarounds that I know of, is plugging the Roku stick directly into a DD+ receiver with HDMI passthrough, then connecting your TV, or using something like a Sewell Siphon HDMI audio extractor, and sending that to a receiver or decoder for native DTS decoding. If you don't have surround speakers, just stick to stereo PCM or 2.1 audio with a normal DTS decoder for Netflix -- the generic Chinese Audio Rush 5.1 boxes work for 2.1 sound, or whatever approximation of it that they output in Netflix, with an HDMI audio extractor set to passthrough. Roku seems to play everything without transcoding from Plex, as long as it has a Dolby decoder attached for audio and the Force direct stream setting globally. Without a decoder, it won't play audio with normal DTS/AC-3 in MKV containers, and that ends up being CPU usage on your Plex server/transcoders converting it to something it understands. If your library is in MP4/MOV, it seems to play nicer on a lot of formats, but still on occasion there is one stray encoding that needs transcoded audio to be heard.

I've switched from Roku to Apple TV to Amazon and back to Roku... I had Amazon Fire TV (gen 2), and it was in the same boat as the Roku in regards to DTS, but I think I've read somewhere that they fixed that? What actually made me switch back to Roku, was Amazon Fire TV being a twat with Mikrotik DHCP leases, but that too, over this summer was apparently fixed in RouterOS 6.40.x. I also tried and returned an nVidia Shield TV, because I thought it'd be amazing, but it isn't $200 amazing when compared to picking up Roku sticks every few years for $30 per TV in my house as time goes on. Walmart also tends to fire sale them right before the new model comes out, and you can usually pick up a Premier, Premier+, or Ultra for the same or less than that year's stick at MSRP. It just seems cheaper over time, as technology changes.
 

Ragenrok

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I just recently picked up a xiaomi Mi box 3 and it's amazing. Supports 4K, full HD Netflix plex and kodi and tons of emulators. It's like a shield for 1/3 of the price lol, not as powerful as the shield but it handles n64 and ps1 games fine. Also plays a lot of android games pretty well to, my son plays minecraft on it with a wireless 360 pad and it works great.
 

Web4Life

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If you want to ditch out a few more bucks the Wetek Hub Mini is pretty good, and if you have a 200-300$ range then get a mini-pc,.
 

Artex

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I have a Firestick (gen2) hard-wired with an adapter for better performance. This works well, but I also use a Minix Neo2 U1 which is fantastic little device and is powerful enough for 4K.
 

DustMite

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I have used the Firestick, wound up giving it to a family member. I felt it was a little sluggish. Then I got a Roku, but I didn't like being tied into a closed ecosystem. I had enough of that noise back when I had a WDTV live streaming box. Boy were the options really limited on that device and half of them didn't work. I used a Raspberry Pi 3 for a while and it was OK but I wanted something different. Then I wound up with an Odroid-C2 and it is my favorite so far. It handles everything I have thrown at it via streaming from the internet or my media server.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know this is a thread necro. I didn't realize it till I hit reply :p
 
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ng4ever

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I have used the Firestick, wound up giving it to a family member. I felt it was a little sluggish. Then I got a Roku, but I didn't like being tied into a closed ecosystem. I had enough of that noise back when I had a WDTV live streaming box. Boy were the options really limited on that device and half of them didn't work. I used a Raspberry Pi 3 for a while and it was OK but I wanted something different. Then I would up with an Odroid-C2 and it is my favorite so far. It handles everything I have thrown at it via streaming from the internet or my media server.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know this is a thread necro. I didn't realize it till I hit reply :p
Not really.
 

Edgar

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I have used the Firestick, wound up giving it to a family member. I felt it was a little sluggish. Then I got a Roku, but I didn't like being tied into a closed ecosystem. I had enough of that noise back when I had a WDTV live streaming box. Boy were the options really limited on that device and half of them didn't work. I used a Raspberry Pi 3 for a while and it was OK but I wanted something different. Then I would up with an Odroid-C2 and it is my favorite so far. It handles everything I have thrown at it via streaming from the internet or my media server.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know this is a thread necro. I didn't realize it till I hit reply :p
If you are looking for speed. You either have to build your own HTPC. Or you could get a nvidia shield. I don't own one myself but everyone that I know that has one has said it is the fastest device they have. I personally still have fire tv 2nd gen. Still snappy for me. Just holding out for firetv 3rd gen(the real 3rd gen).
 

Ragenrok

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If you are looking for speed. You either have to build your own HTPC. Or you could get a nvidia shield. I don't own one myself but everyone that I know that has one has said it is the fastest device they have. I personally still have fire tv 2nd gen. Still snappy for me. Just holding out for firetv 3rd gen(the real 3rd gen).
So far my Mi box 3 has been fantastic and very snappy feeling, 5-10 second boot up time and 3 second from click to netflix being open which is great for me. Considering its 1/3 the price of a shield its great and thanks to moonlight I can stream using game stream just like a shield anyways.
 

IdiotInCharge

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Next necro:

Roku Ultra vs. Shield TV (not Pro) vs. Apple TV 4k for an LG OLED- overall experience, snappiness, and CBS app support, along with Dolby Atmos and Vision?
 

Vengance_01

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Next necro:

Roku Ultra vs. Shield TV (not Pro) vs. Apple TV 4k for an LG OLED- overall experience, snappiness, and CBS app support, along with Dolby Atmos and Vision?
Do have content in the apple echo system? Do you most rent/stream or do you a collection of MKV local content? IMO the Shield 2017 model is where its at. No Pro does not have an intergrated IR so to use a universal remote is more of a pain.
 

IdiotInCharge

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Do have content in the apple echo system? Do you most rent/stream or do you a collection of MKV local content? IMO the Shield 2017 model is where its at. No Pro does not have an intergrated IR so to use a universal remote is more of a pain.
Great questions, thanks!

Do have content in the apple echo system? All of none- I have nothing against Apple, just haven't had an occasion to use their products

Do you most rent/stream or do you a collection of MKV local content? Stream nearly everything, nothing local that I care about; I'm mostly interested in the best streaming quality while supporting the proper services with Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision

Also not really worried about universal control; my main interest in the Apple TV 4k vs. anything else is that it's supposed to just be a really slick box.
 

Vengance_01

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Great questions, thanks!

Do have content in the apple echo system? All of none- I have nothing against Apple, just haven't had an occasion to use their products

Do you most rent/stream or do you a collection of MKV local content? Stream nearly everything, nothing local that I care about; I'm mostly interested in the best streaming quality while supporting the proper services with Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision

Also not really worried about universal control; my main interest in the Apple TV 4k vs. anything else is that it's supposed to just be a really slick box.
The only other benefit I see is the shield can be used as 4K Chromecast device if that matters for you? If not... People really like the Shield it seems to be the standard when you want support all audio/video formats.
 

IdiotInCharge

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The only other benefit I see is the shield can be used as 4K Chromecast device if that matters for you? If not... People really like the Shield it seems to be the standard when you want support all audio/video formats.
It doesn't, really- at least not yet? I have the original Chromecast, and while I found it to be an interesting approach technically, the solution itself is somewhat cumbersome, in my opinion.

I'll have to think on this- do they have Apple TV 4k's set up for demonstration in Apple stores?


[and I have nothing against the Shield; it's my default choice, for now, just interested in seeing what Apple has to offer here]
 

Ragenrok

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I think kodi on android devices supports atmos, which would include the shield. For me I use an htpc+kodi in my home theatre and it does atmos great.
 
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